Windows 7 has been the talk of the tech community for months now. Excitement over the operating system reached a high point when Microsoft released the first public beta of Windows 7 during CES 2009 in early January. Microsoft then upped the ante last week when it provided the first Release Candidate (RC) version of Windows 7 to the public.
Microsoft is now confident enough in Windows 7 that it today announced that the operating system will be available in time for the "holiday shopping season". Although Acer has leaked its intention to release a product using Windows 7 by October 23, this is the first confirmation from Microsoft that the operating system will ship this year.
"Microsoft is committed to ensuring that IT professionals and developers continue to have the platform and technologies to drive maximum value and business results. Getting the most out of IT investments is even more important in today’s economy," said Bill Veghte, Microsoft's senior vice president of the Windows Business. "With early RC testing and extensive partner feedback we’ve received, Windows 7 is tracking well for holiday availability."
The overall reception to Windows 7 through its beta and early RC stages has been overwhelmingly positive. In fact, the reception to Windows 7 has been quite the opposite of its predecessor, Windows Vista, which was plagued with software and driver incompatibilities at launch. Given that Windows 7 builds upon the foundation laid down by Windows Vista which has had a few years to mature, many of those growing pains are long gone.
Windows 7 will be available in Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate editions. According to Microsoft, over 75 percent of Windows 7 installations will come through OEMs and the majority of installations will be 64-bit.